Sometimes a song pops into your head unannounced and gets stuck for hours. You almost never know how it got there. (Were you just singing that? Is there a radio on somewhere?) Currently, my song is “The Impossible Dream” from Man of La Mancha.
I’m writing from the train, traveling back to Toronto after a weekend of canvassing for Elizabeth May in London North Centre. I’m not sure where Don Quixote came from or exactly when he showed up, but I’m in the mood to hypothesize.
This morning I went with Elizabeth and my new friend Steve Edwards (Communications Chair for London North Centre) to St. Paul’s Anglican Church. The homily, by Archdeacon D. Ian Grant, was about the need for justice, using the acceptance of same sex marriage as the primary example. That would have seemed impossible just a few decades ago.
Last night, at the dinner to benefit Olivia’s Dream, a veteran told an unjust story about a sick girl in an unnamed country where citizens have to pay for all medical treatments above a certain limit, regardless of ability to pay or how necessary those treatments are. Tommy Douglas’ dream of universal healthcare must have seemed impossible to most just a century ago (and, in many countries, still would).
One week ago, if I’m being honest, despite all public optimism, I believed on some deep level that electing Canada’s first Green MP on November 27 was likely impossible. I know now that that’s not true; Elizabeth has a real chance.
Today, I was on sign duty. My new friend Larry and I (there are lots of new friends in London) drove around the whole riding looking for a piece of public property where an opponent had a sign and we didn’t. It was a challenging task. Over the course of a few hours we found one or two vacant spots and promptly rectified the situation. Currently, we have more signs up than any other candidate.
In addition, Elizabeth seems to have somehow befriended more people in London than most Londoners. Everywhere we go she is recognized and greeted warmly. And this campaign is just getting started. Mark my words: you ain’t seen nothing yet. (Randy Bachman just showed up and pushed Don Quixote out of the way. I wonder who else will make a surprise appearance.)
In a way, we can’t really lose. We’re generating huge amounts of attention and setting the agenda for the campaign (just one of many “firsts”). At the very least we’re giving the other parties a run for their money and forcing them to consider issues that experience tells us they’d otherwise ignore. And, not unimportantly, we’re having a lot of fun. I’m very jealous of those people â€“ from BC Ben to PEI Sharon — who have been able to move to London for the month to campaign full time. I can guarantee that no other party is having a better time.
See you again next weekend, new-London-friends. Stay true to that glorious quest.